All The Dangers Of A Vegan Diet

March 21, 2014

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The food revolution that is ongoing in the 21st century has pitted various dietary views against one another, with each claiming the other is dangerous. The most common change made by those looking to live a healthier life is to go vegan.

A vegan diet is one which contains no food products from an animal. While it is promoted as healthy, there are in fact very real dangers that come with strict adherence to a vegan-only diet.

Low in high quality protein

Protein is a vital nutrient the body uses to provide power and build muscle. While both animals and plants provide protein in a diet, plant protein is much lower in quality than animal protein.

Some dieticians and doctors suggest that plant protein is as much as 15 times lower in quality than animal protein. When vegans consume beans, lentils and nuts for protein in place of animal sources, they are not receiving the same quality of protein.

Plant protein is processed differently in the body and used less efficiently. The result is a body that is nutrient deficient.

Increased toxicity in the body

The resulting lack of protein in a vegan diet can lead to increased toxicity in the body.

The liver needs amino acids, a building block of protein, to help detox the body and remove impurities.

Long term protein deficiencies can inhibit the liver’s detoxification process and lead to increased levels of toxins in the body, causing sometimes irreparable harm over time.

Loss of digestive juices

Another side effect of protein deficiency is the loss of digestive juices. Hydrochloric acid (HCL) is produced in the stomach with the help of protein and is the leading force behind healthy digestion.

Without proper protein levels, the stomach does not create enough HCL to power the digestive process in the body. If the stomach cannot properly digest food, fewer nutrients from a diet are absorbed into the body.

Nut-heavy diets pose a danger

As mentioned earlier, many vegans will increase their consumption of nuts to make up for the loss of protein found in animal food sources that are no longer part of their diet.

The problem with increased nut consumption is that nuts are very difficult for the body to digest properly. Nuts are high in PUFA fats, and release enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid which block the absorption of minerals in the body.

Many vital nutrients only exist in animal products

Plants and vegetables are often promoted as being healthier than meat, eggs, dairy and other animal products.

However, promoting only the consumption of plants and vegetables ignores the very real fact that there are certain nutrients that can only be gained from the consumption of animal products. A perfect example is vitamin B12.

A water soluble vitamin, B12 is used in the function of every cell in the human body, aiding in the formation of blood and functions of the brain. One study has found that nearly 92% of vegans are B12 deficient, and the lack of this critical vitamin is just the beginning.

Other vital nutrients only found in animals include creatine (forms energy reservoirs in cells), carnosine (protects against degenerative processes) and docosahexaenoic acid (active form of Omega-3 fatty acid).

Too much soy a bad thing

Many vegans will gravitate towards a diet heavy in soy because it can offer yet another substitute for animal-based proteins.

Unfortunately, soy protein is hard for the body to digest, can suppress the actions of the thyroid and contains high levels of phytic acid that prevent the body from absorbing nutrients.

Goes against proven history

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In this case it is not being suggested that vegans will die as a result of their dietary choices, but rather that history has shown no culture that experienced long term survival on a vegan diet.

The human body has been consuming a varied diet of vegetables, fruits and animal products for hundreds of thousands of years. This machine known as the human body has evolved over time to process and rely upon a variety of foods to survive.

A study conducted by Dr. Weston Price, a dentist, found a link between diets low in animal foods and long term tooth decay.

History offers stories that should never be ignored because, as they say, history repeats itself.

Veganism’s toll on the body not immediate

The biggest danger from a vegan diet is the fact that the body won’t send out warning signs for months or years following the loss of animal-based nutrients. At first it will be difficult to notice the loss of fat soluble nutrients in the body and impact of protein deficiency in everyday life.

The human body is a resilient machine capable of adaptation, so it will do what it must to survive following the switch. The body will drain existing nutritional surpluses at first, delaying the impact of nutrient loss in the diet and onset of problems such as poor digestion, thyroid imbalances and hormone disorders.


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